Early Thursday morning, an Arizona state trooper stopping to help a woman ejected from a car wreck was shot in an ambush, downing him, then had his head bashed against the pavement by the shooter before a driver passing by on the remote highway saved the trooper by shooting the assailant to death.
The car wreck occurred on Interstate 10 in the desert west of Phoenix. The woman who was ejected died from her injuries. The trooper suffered a severe wound to his shoulder and upper chest but he is expected to recover.
Department of Public Safety Director Ralph Milstead said of the man who saved the trooper, “My trooper would not be alive without his assistance . . . he’s incredibly fortunate to be here with us today.” The trooper apparently received a report about a driver whose car was shot at near a median at milepost 81 on Interstate 10, according to ABC15, which added that the trooper left the traffic stop to investigate this call when he saw the rollover crash.
The trooper apparently attempted to put flares around the wreck when he was ambushed and then assaulted. Milstead said the man was on top of the officer beating his head into the pavement and “getting the better of him.” Milstead added that it was at that point that the passing driver showed up and asked if the trooper needed help. When the trooper asked for help, the passing driver returned to his vehicle, got his gun and told the suspect to stop the attack. When the assailant refused, he shot him.
The Arizona DPS stated that the trooper has been with the department for 27 years.